Candy...made with oil and vinegar? Believe it.
I know it sounds weird, but it's actually pretty darned wonderful. Starting with a brown sugar syrup, this candy is augmented with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of sea salt for a fascinating, sweet-savory flavor.
I originally made this as a candy coating for an interesting candied cherry tomato recipe, but personally, I think the candy is better on its own. Balsamic candy is sophisticated and -- trust me on this -- doesn't taste as strange as you think.
Makes many candies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch salt
- a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan
- a candy thermometer
- a rubber spatula
- Parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet
Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set to the side.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the water, sugar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan, or have it nearby if if is an instant-read variety. Heat the mixture on medium heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula (to discourage any undissolved bits of sugar from scorching the pan).
Bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to stir frequently and scrape the sides of the bowl with your rubber spatula. Let the mixture boil, monitoring the temperature as it gradually rises. Once the temperature reaches 270 degrees F (this is the “soft-crack” stage in candy-making), carefully monitor the temperature as it will rise quickly. Once the temperature has reached 300 (just entering the “hard-crack” stage of candy-making), remove from heat. The mixture will continue to bubble for a few moments. Let the bubbling calm down briefly before proceeding.
Spoon the candy mixture in dollops onto the prepared baking sheet. Alternately, you can have individual portions of parchment and fold the paper around it to make Jolly rancher-shaped candies, or you can pour the candy into cupcake liners so you can control how much it spreads.
If your candy mixture seems like it is beginning to get too hard, keep it over low heat to keep it pourable.
This candy will become hard as it cools. Enjoy!
Note: Do not touch the candy mixture while it is liquid, as it is very hot!